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Video: Putting a healthy spin on Latin dishes

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    >>> this morning on "today's" kitchen, melting pot . a healthy spin on dishes from her heritage and she's here with recipes from her new cookbook " latin delight." good morning.

    >> good morning.

    >> i love this cookbook already because you're taking some of our latin favorites but making them lighter. and it's not typically known for being light.

    >> here's where i'm going to show you it's actually doable. and i always like to say i like to save my calories for my cocktails.

    >> okay.

    >> my kind of girl.

    >> we have cocktails in the book too and desserts. i don't believe in diets, i believe in eating cleaner. i chose to make an argentinian --

    >> it's a flank steak , right?

    >> it actually translates into hunger killer. it's a flank steak that we're going to finish opening like a book.

    >> okay.

    >> we cover it with plastic. if you want to get some stress out, go ahead and pound --

    >> there we go. this is something your mom taught you.

    >> my grandparents grew up in argentina.

    >> even though you're from colombia.

    >> we're from colombia. we had them dancing a lot of tango and a lot of argentinian food . i chose to stick this recipe in the book because it is also one of the recipes that mom used to bring us as kids into the kitchen and to make us play with our food, stuffing it which we're coming to. we have got to pick what we wanted --

    >> at first you're going to marinate it.

    >> we're going to stick it in milk.

    >> why milk?

    >> milk will soften you have the tissue. not everybody in argentina does it. i like doing it if i have the time. let's pretend we've soaked it, we've dried it, we've got it right here. now we're going to put --

    >> everybody can get involved.

    >> really have them pick the stuffing. this has got a little bit of thyme, a little bit of oregano. they generally use spinach. i'm doing swiss charred, just a little bit. go ahead and help me. onions, we've got some olives. we've got a little --

    >> latin with the olives.

    >> and this is something i'm adding the argentinians don't do. this is the spice pickled peppers.

    >> okay.

    >> now we put some egg. this is very traditional from the recipe. i love it because it adds that beautiful color to it, as well.

    >> okay.

    >> and now all we do is we fold it and roll it.

    >> okay.

    >> this is the part as the kid --

    >> roll it on the side where all the stuffing is.

    >> you roll it and all we do -- when you're pounding it, if you make a hole into when you're cutting it, no big deal . it's cooking. now we tie it. you can close that one up.

    >> okay. i'll tie this on. you tie it like that and you're going to brown it.

    >> that's all you do is brown it. we've got one ready to go here. nicely browned and here's where we're going to stick some flavor into it. we're going to do some beef stock . do vegetable broth. i'm doing some -- we've got onions for flavor. you can do this in the oven, as well. we've got some thyme and parsley, garlic.

    >> let it simmer down.

    >> we're going to let it simmer down. and some gravy, and here we come. and we're going to cut it. everybody always comes for the food.

    >> you bet.

    >> i love it.

    >> we stay for the company.

    >> we're going to cut this up and all of these recipes you can find in latin delight which hits bookstores nationally yesterday. we've got a version in english, a version in spanish. we've got cocktails.

    >> she's cutting it.

    >> and we've got cocktails in the book, as well. and we've got butter beans with rosemary and garlic. we've got an avocado salad and cilantro served in butter, soft lettuce and butter. and all we need to do is enjoy eating. thank you, guys.

    >> thank you.

    >> thank you.

    >> and we have a new feature on our website where we're displaying the dishes you cook at home. if you can make this recipe or any recipes that you see here on "today," take a photo, tell us what it is, tweet it with the

TODAY recipes
updated 4/3/2013 5:09:13 PM ET 2013-04-03T21:09:13

Recipe: Rosemary butter beans

  • 1 head garlic
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 3-inch sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 15-ounce cans butter beans
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cut off the top fourth of the garlic head and peel off the loose skin. Place the head, cut side up, on a 12-inch square of aluminum foil. Add the onion, a sprig of rosemary, and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Wrap the garlic in the foil and place on a baking sheet.  Bake until the garlic is very tender, about 50 minutes. Let cool until easy to handle. 

3. Meanwhile, drain 1 can of beans in a wire sieve and rinse under cold running water. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add the remaining beans with their liquid. Chop the leaves from the remaining rosemary and add to the beans. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the beans are hot, about 7 minutes.

4. Squeeze half of the roasted garlic cloves, roasted onion and vinegar onto the beans and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Serving Size

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Recipe: Argentine stuffed rolled flank steak (matahambre)

  • 1 2 1/2-pound flank steak, trimmed of excess fat
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups Swiss chard leaves, well rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 3 large, hard-cooked eggs peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup large pitted green Spanish olives, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 small yellow onion sliced into thin rings
  • 1/3 cup small pickled hot peppers, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup hearty red wine
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 head garlic cut in half
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 6 fresh oregano sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water

1. Place the steak on a cutting board with the grain running toward you. Holding a thin sharp knife parallel to the board and starting at one long side, butterfly the steak: Cut with the grain almost to the other side, and open up the steak like a book. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the meat. Gently pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin until the meat is evenly thick. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Place the meat in a small, shallow baking dish and pour in the milk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

2. Pour off the milk and pat the steak dry with paper towels. Place the meat on a work surface. Scatter the Swiss chard evenly over the top, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle the carrots evenly over the Swiss chard. Top evenly with the eggs, olives, onion slices, pickled peppers and cheese. From a short side, carefully roll up the meat jelly-roll style. Tie with kitchen string at 1-inch intervals.

3. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the meat roulade and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the wine broth, onion wedges, parsley, garlic, thyme, oregano and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover. Simmer until the meat is fork tender, about 1 ½ hours.

4. Transfer the meat to a cutting board. Tent with aluminum foil and let stand for 15 minutes.

5. With a slotted spoon, remove and discard the garlic, herb stems and bay leaves from the cooking liquid. Bring to a simmer. Whisk together the flour and water in a small bowl until smooth. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the simmering liquid, and return to a simmer. Cook, whisking often, until the sauce has no raw flour taste, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a large sauceboat.

6. Remove the strings and cut the roulade crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices. Serve the matahambre with the sauce.

Serving Size

Makes 6 servings

Recipe: Latin avocado and tomato salad

  • 2 Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored and cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 4 scallions, white and green parts, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, ribbed and finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head of Boston or Bibb lettuce, leaves separated into cups

1. Gently mix the avocados, tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, eggs and jalapeño in a medium bowl. Drizzle the vinegar over the mixture and toss gently, seasoning with salt and pepper.

2. To serve, place a lettuce cup on each plate and fill each with equal amounts of the salad. Serve immediately.

Serving Size

Makes 6 servings

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